Most of you didn’t know Tim Murphy.
When I moved to Bartow in 1981, Tim ran the local Chevrolet dealership. In a small community like Bartow, you get to know folks and be known. Recognizing me as a newcomer, he offered a friendly hand of welcome. Learned my name. Was always, and I mean always, kind.
If you thought something was a good idea and would improve the community, Tim was the guy to encourage to join you. If he agreed, he supported it with his words, his money, his time and his passion. He was passionate about the community. He had kids so he supported kids programs. He had a business, so he supported things that made business better. He had a big heart so he supported things that helped the poor and the widows.
Tim passed away yesterday after a long battle with kidney disease that involved years of treatments and even a kidney transplant. As his passing became known in our community, the social networks began to light up with condolences to his children and wife as well as stories of his kindness. Story after story of his kindness.
For instance, when my wife Jenny was pregnant with our third child, Tim learned that the baby was due on his birthday. “If she is born on my birthday, I’ll give her a $100.” Alas, Kate missed it by a day.
Weeks later, in the mail, came a savings passbook from a local bank. It was in Kate’s name. Had a $100 with a note attached. “I don’t welsh over 24 hours.” That was the only savings Kate had for a long time.
I was reading a book about teamwork today. It caused me to think of Tim. A boss was giving advice to his colleague. “Remember: every interaction you have with someone you gain share or you lose share. Whether a client or a customer, you should be trying to gain share.”
As I read it, I realized that is what made Tim Murphy great. He started out each day committed to gaining share with every person he saw and every person he thought about it. And, he was intentional about doing it.
So, today, I’m watching first hand the legacy of a man who determines he will gain share every time he comes into contact with you as well as surprise you with small favors you didn’t know were coming.
The legacy includes a wife who loves you beyond measure with children and grandchildren feeling the same way. A community filled with people with nothing but good to say. A role model for any who seek to live a good life to follow. We are grateful you came along. Thanks for leaving us all in a better place.